A celebration in progress at PopUp Dinner L.A.

Los Angeles gets its first mass picnic event on August 25th with PopUp Dinner L.A., a contemporary and chic spin on the al fresco classic.

Hand Made Events presents this enchanting evening full of gourmet food, dancing, and whimsy inspired by similar events in San Francisco and San Diego that proved to be smashing successes. It’s an underground supper club/flash mob hybrid as guests converge on a secret location to socialize and celebrate the season.

Guests are invited to purchase tickets with the option of “BYO” admission, in which case the guest will bring their own gourmet dinner for $28 or a catered dinner for $78. A portion of the proceeds will go Slow Food Los Angeles, contributing to their youth outreach program.

The dress code is all white, and guests must supply their own flatware and place settings. PopUp Dinner L.A. will provide tables, chairs, and the entertainment.

The picnic takes place on August 25, 2012 from 5 to 11 pm. The location of the event is kept secret until the day of for an extra surprise. The picnic promises to be a fresh and exciting experience, unlike anything Los Angeles has seen. And don’t forget your white napkins for the inaugural napkin wave!


Late summer came to life Saturday night, August 25th, on the South Lawn of the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park. The high-flying party known as PopUp Dinner L.A. found revelers dressed all in white beneath the soft glow of a quarter moon, feasting on epicurean delights and drinking copious amounts of wine.

The set-up was purposefully very do-it-yourself, with only bare picnic tables and white folding chairs supplied by the event. This allowed picnickers to put their own stamp on the experience, with some groups going all out and others playing it low key. There was everything from elaborate tablescapes with full place settings, taper candles, and white tablecloths, to pared down, minimalistic tableaus with a few simple votives and paper plates.

The dress code was also taken to extremes: gowns, suits, white denim, and even a toga were all spotted. After a leisurely dinner during which a classical string quartet played, a DJ took over and people danced late into the night to a mix of mid-century dance hits and contemporary chart-toppers.

Like any first-time event, there is a bit of room for improvement. The situation with the restrooms was abysmal. But the real deficiencies were cased only by the ill-prepared guest. I failed to check the weather and wished I’d brought a light sweater, and hunting down a corkscrew proved a bigger challenge than anticipated.

For adventurous diners seeking a unique and lively time, there was a lot on offer. And judging from the crowd in attendance, there are sure to be other pop-up picnics in Los Angeles’s future.

Dining under the stars in Exposition Park.

Photos courtesy of Trishna Patel


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